Are you meeting the DfE’s technology standards?

14 October 2022

What are the DfE’s technology standards? 

The Department for Education released guidelines to set out the standards that schools and colleges should aim to meet when renewing and upgrading their digital infrastructure. The guidelines, titled Meeting digital and technology standards in schools and colleges were released in 2022 and received approval from technology leaders and IT managers in education. The documents provide guidance that will move schools and colleges towards enterprise-level IT systems, recommending investment in technology that provide long-term improvements and new learning opportunities for students. 

How soon should we implement the standards? 

Many standards can be implemented when you next upgrade your digital infrastructure. However, some of the standards (such as safeguarding requirements) should already be in place. Others are highly recommended for immediate action (cyber security and backups), while some may take years to implement (upgrading network cabling where cable runs can be difficult or costly). 

You should discuss the technical details with your IT service provider or in-house IT team to ensure your strategic IT plans are in line with the DfE’s recommended standards. 

Who should be involved in the implementation? 

Your IT service provider or in-house IT team should lead the implementation. It is also recommended to discuss the upgrades across all teams that are involved in the use of technology, including: 

  • Senior Leadership Teams 
  • Internal IT staff 
  • External IT service providers and technical consultants 
  • Teaching staff 

Find out more about the standards 

The standards cover different areas of technology. You can read our summaries of each section using the links below. 

Broadband internet standards – This standard includes details on internet connection type, connection speed, resilience and safeguarding. 

Network switching standards -Standards recommended for switch performance, management, security and resilience. 

Network cabling standards – Recommendations for copper cabling, fibre cabling and installation. 

Wireless network standards – Details of how to improve network performance, coverage, management and security. 

Cyber security standards – Recommendations for cyber security and data protection. 

How we can help 

Having worked with education establishments for over fifteen years, we understand that every school and Trust is different, meaning the upgrade path to meet the standards will vary. If you need advice to confirm whether you currently meet the standards, are not sure which standards to prioritise, or would like help implementing upgrades, you can contact us for impartial advice on the best place to start. 

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